When I'm wondering about weather folklore and historical events this is the man I go to. With more than 50 years of statistical and observational research, he's the dude! When it comes to lunar cycles, woolly bear caterpillars, insects, bugs, and animals, he tracks them, records them, and establishes ties to weather patterns. He's a knowledgeable and interesting man. His name is Steve Gottschalk by way of Lowden, Iowa. I'm grateful to him for lending his unique perspective to the site. Steve's "wild" world of weather can be found every Wednesday right
here on TSwails.com. Take it away Steve!
"Squaw winter" is a spell of early winter-like cold and snow that interrupts the normal period of Indian Summer. It usually doesn't last as long and then the weather returns to normal. Typical squaw winter lasts a week or so. This year it has been abnormally long on the order of 3 weeks. I saw it mentioned several times in my pioneer journal. It is something on the order of Indian Summer, just the opposite. I don't think it happens every year.
NOVEMBER SNOW AND COLD:
If you think we've had a lot of snow and cold weather recently it could be worse. I found a couple of years that were.
During November of 1898, Winterset received a total of 26.5" of snow for the month. Spirit Lake dropped to a low of -17 on the morning of the 22nd.
During November of 1959, Sheldon received a total of 21.3" of snow for the month, Emmetsburg had 21.0", Sanborn - 20.8", LeMars - 19.1", Humboldt - 19.0" and New Hampton - 17.0".
On the 14th of the month, LeMars had a low of -24, the second coldest ever for the month of November, only Cresco's low of -25 on Nov. 28, 1887 was colder. Other lows on the 14th were a -20 at Sheldon, Rock Rapids and Sibley. Just 10 days earlier, the 4th, Glenwood and Keosaqua saw highs of 71 degrees.
A RARE NOVEMBER - 1800's EARTHQUAKE:
An earthquake sent shocks across the state during the late morning and afternoon of Nov. 22, 1877.
The shock waves were lighter in some areas than in others. At Council Bluffs, around 11:45 a.m., quick successive hocks from N.W. to S.E., lasting 2 minutes threatened brick buildings sending people running out into the streets for safety. In Sioux City, around 11:30 a.m., the severe shocks lasted 15 seconds, creating a panic among the people in St. Mary's Church. The high school building had one of it's walls crack.
SOME THANKSGIVING DAY WEATHER IN THE 1800's:
I went through my old pioneer journals and found several entries about the weather on Thanksgiving Day from years gone by.
In 1871 - the day was sunny and bright.
In 1889 - there was snow.
In 1892 - the weather was pleasant and most farmers were in the fields.
In 1896 - the day was rainy.
WEATHER PROPHETS AND HOW ACCURATE WERE THEY IN THE 1800's?
Back in the 1800's there were no long range weather outlooks. There were those who tried to forecast the upcoming winter using past weather trends and signs form Nature. They were generally the older citizens who long memories and almost every town had one.
I found 7 such predictions in my pioneer journals. The prophets were only correct on 2 of their winter forecasts, with 2 other predictions that were partially correct. The 2 that were correct were for a "hard winters". One forecast was based on the height of the hornet's nests out in the timber.
That's all for now. On the "wild" side of weather, I'm Steve Gottschalk...
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WEATHER SCHOOL AGENDA:
WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION
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BREAK: A 25-30 minute recess to enjoy a catered lunch…
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Soundings. What are they and why should I care?
Instability (CAPE) vs (CIN) Critical interaction involving moisture, heating, and forcing.
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Simulated model driven forecast of a severe weather event/tornado outbreak
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The key ingredients required for significant winter storm:
How to forecast the rain snow line.
How to forecast snow totals from QPF
Determining totals from snow ratios.
What to look for at the surface and at upper levels (500 and 850mb)
Model bias and determining the storm track
Simulated model driven forecast of a significant Midwest winter storm
QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION
An open period for attendees to ask questions regarding relevant topics or issues discussed during the day.
Some final words of inspiration from the events headliners
Once again, to reserve a spot or ask questions send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org See you when the bell rings! T. Swails
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